cardiorespiratory failure – really?

Teen died after triple the lethal dose of ecstasy
By Gareth Naughton

A MOTHER described at an inquest yesterday how her son died in front
of her after taking more than three times the lethal dose of ecstasy.

Ann Murphy told Dublin Coroner’s Court that Curtis Day (19), from All
Saints Close in Raheny, Dublin 5, had come into her bedroom on the
morning of October 31, last year, and was hallucinating in the minutes
before his death.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell described the level of ecstasy found in the
deceased’s system at the time of death as “very high” and said that Mr
Day would have taken “quite a number of tablets” in the period before
he died.

Ms Murphy told the court her son had been fine when she last saw him
before she went to bed.

He had been at home drinking West Coast Cooler with friends. He woke
her up just before daybreak on the morning of his death when he came
into her room in his boxers.

“He was acting strange, pretending to play a football match. He told
me not to spoil his buzz. He was definitely under the influence of

“He then went to the window and I got up and approached him. There was
steam coming from his mouth,” she said.

She laid him on the bed. His feet were still kicking as she rang an
ambulance. She placed him in the recovery position and tried to give
him the kiss of life, but his jaws were locked.

Ms Murphy said her son had taken drugs in the past including the
headshop drug ‘snow blow’ and had gone on a “coke binge” for a period.
However, he had been off drugs for four months leading up to his

The post-mortem report found no injuries on the body.

A toxicology screen found that Mr Day had a cocktail of drugs in his
system at the time of his death.


There was evidence of cannabis use and a small amount of alcohol present.

He had also taken cocaine and ecstasy.

The level of ecstasy present in his system was 2.58 micrograms per 100
millilitres of blood. Ecstasy is lethal within a range of 0.4 to 0.8
micrograms, the court heard.

Friends of Mr Day told the court that the only drug they had seen him
taking in the days before his death was cannabis.

The pathologist gave the cause of death as cardio-respiratory failure
due to the toxic mix of ecstasy and cocaine.

“It is a very high level of ecstasy. I cannot say how many but he
certainly had taken a number of tablets. It is a very unpredictable
drug,” said Dr Farrell.

He returned a verdict of death by misadventure.

– Gareth Naughton

Irish Independent